18 Things Every High Schooler Should Hear


Emma Blackwell

Two friends enjoy hanging out in the library.

  1. Enjoy The Little Things: Sometimes when our schedules get busier we forget to appreciate all of the things that make high school fun. Whether that is cheering loudly in the student section at football games or winning a close game with your soccer team, don’t let yourself take those moments for granted.
  2. That One Grade Doesn’t Matter: We’ve all been disappointed by a grade before. After studying for hours the night before, you still don’t do as well as you’d hoped. Here’s the good news: everyone has been there, and we’ve all survived. You can talk to your teacher or change your study method, but when it comes to your anger, it is absolutely pointless to hold on to it. Also don’t even think about cheating to make up for it because the consequences of getting caught are way worse than a bad test grade. The best thing you can do is just move on. It’s that simple.  
  3. Over-studying Isn’t Better Studying: As necessary as it may feel to stay up until 3 a.m. to cram for a test the next day, it’s not. As an avid crammer, I’m not going to lie to you and say I never do it. However, at a certain point you’ve got to put the textbook down and go to bed. Wake up early if you really need to keep studying, but staying up until the crack of dawn is never the answer.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid To Hang Out With New People: Glenbard West is a massive high school filled with people you have most likely never met, so get out there and meet some of them. It’s such a frustrating stigma that you can “only hang out with people inside of your friend group,” but that is not remotely true. Having friends outside of your circle is healthy, and can even lead to meeting some of the closest friends you will ever have. So break the stigma, and make some new friends.
  5. Nobody Likes A Bragger: Everyone knows those few people who constantly brag about themselves. Maybe those people attempt to make it subtle or maybe they just flat out boast. Regardless of the type of bragging, it’s annoying. There’s a fine line between sharing good news and bragging, and it’s all about the delivery. If you say,”Ugh, I only got a 95 percent on that paper,” it is very obvious that you are bragging, and your comment will likely not be received well. Here’s the bottom line: skip the bragging for your own good.
  6. It’s Perfectly Normal To Feel Sad Sometimes: High school is hard sometimes. Hormones are raging, stress levels are high, and on some days it’s just too hard to handle. A lot of times it  can feel like you are the only one struggling to keep it all together, but you aren’t. Don’t feel like you have to contain that frustration either; talk to someone. You should never be ashamed for feeling this way because everyone has bad days.
  7. Start Taking Responsibility For Your Life: It’s incredibly easy to become reliant on your parents for things that you should be doing independently, but it’s also extremely self-destructive. You won’t always have someone to do everything for you, so don’t make it a habit. You may not even realize it’s happening, but the moment you do is the same moment you change your future for the better.
  8. Everyone Struggles With Friends, Not Just You: One of the hardest parts of high school is friendships. They are something that almost everyone struggles with but rarely talks about. Some people have friends, but don’t like them, and others want friends but have difficulty making them. No matter the issue, you should know that it gets better. Situations are constantly changing so don’t let it bring you down. Do things that make you happy and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
  9. Work The System: In order to give yourself the best opportunities for success, build strong relationships with your teachers and peers. I am in no way condoning the use of cheating to get ahead. In high school, being on your teacher’s good side is key. I know the idea of becoming a “teacher’s pet” isn’t exactly appealing, but a strong relationship with your teacher is incredibly beneficial.
  10. You Don’t Need That One Toxic Friend: It can be very scary to cut off a friendship, especially when it’s someone you’ve known for a long time. Even if it seems like it’ll get better, or you can “handle” it, you don’t have to. You don’t deserve to have someone in your life who brings you any form of pain, so don’t let them any longer. I’m not encouraging you to fire back at them, just try to cut ties with them in the most civil way possible. Be the bigger person, and move on with your life. 
  11. You Don’t Have To Be “Great” At Everything: There are so many opportunities to try new things in high school, but many times we get caught up in trying to excel at everything we do. What many of us don’t understand is that this is nearly impossible, and we need to stop dwelling on it when we aren’t the best. Just do things that make you happy, and the rest will fall into place.
  12. Stop Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else: Social media and the culture of high school make it very easy to compare ourselves to other people. The problem with this is that it strips away our confidence and highlights our insecurities. We can start to develop jealousy of what others have, or grow more judgmental. Everyone has their own unique strengths so there is no benefit to continuously putting ourselves through the pain of self-comparison.
  13. Always Take Advantage Of Extra Credit: I cannot stress the importance of extra credit enough. Even if it is only worth two points, it adds up. Never pass up an opportunity to get any extra points available to you because at the end of the semester those little points could make or break your final grade in the class.
  14. More Friends Doesn’t Always Mean Better Friends: It may seem like the most important thing in high school is to make as many friends as you can, but this idea is wrong. If you have a large friend group, that’s great, but you should never feel bad about not having a ton of friends. Many people who have a lot of friends aren’t even necessarily close with all of them. To find a few friends who are nice and supportive is something that should be valued, not looked down upon. Cherish whatever number of friends you have, and forget about the rest.
  15. Not Everything You Do Has To Be A Résumé Builder: A big part of high school is about preparing yourself for college. Many people do this by exclusively participating in activities that boost their college application. I’m not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing, but some of these things should at the very least coincide with things you enjoy doing. If you want to go on a mission trip to South America, don’t just do it for college, do it for the joy it will bring you and the people you are serving. Résumé boosters are great, but make sure to do things for yourself as well.
  16. Stop Stressing About Homecoming – It’s Just A Dance: There is so much pressure put on Homecoming and everything that it entails (i.e. finding a date, a group to go with, the perfect outfit, etc…). I’m here to be the first one to tell you that it is just a high school dance, and it doesn’t matter nearly as much as everyone makes it seem. Even if everything doesn’t turn out as you’d hoped, it can still be turned into a great memory. Just grab your best friends, and make it a carefree night.
  17. Get A Job, Even If It’s Not The Most Enjoyable: Colleges love to see someone who is hardworking and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. This doesn’t always have to be literal dirt, but just the idea that a high school student has enough maturity to be a committed employee is hugely advantageous. I know that I said not to do everything as a college resume builder, and I stand by that. Along with looking good on your application, jobs bring in money that can be very useful to paying college tuition.  Jobs aren’t always enjoyable but are beneficial in the long run.   
  18. Do Things That Make YOU Happy: You’ve probably heard me say this a lot already, but it is something that I feel very passionate about. Many people will give you their opinions on what things you should participate in, but ultimately, none of their opinions matter as much as your own. High school is tough, and doing extracurricular activities that you don’t enjoy will only bring on more difficulty. It is so crucial for your mental and physical health that you focus on doing things that you love, no matter what others think.